Cowboys safety Malik Hooker haunts his former team in demolition of Colts

Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys' defense woke up in the second half to run away with a 54-19 home win against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, led by former Colts safety Malik Hooker.

The win improved the Cowboys' record to 9-3, good enough for third in the NFC, trailing only the Philadelphia Eagles (11-1) and the Minnesota Vikings (10-2) in the race for the one seed.

It was the Colts leading early, with Matt Ryan's 14-yard touchdown pass to Ashton Dulin giving them a 10-7 lead at quarter-time after their opening field goal was answered by a CeeDee Lamb touchdown catch for the Cowboys.

Tony Pollard put the Cowboys back in front when he forced his way into the endzone from the two-yard line, before Hooker seized full control of the game when he intercepted Ryan with one minute remaining in the first half, allowing the Cowboys to add another touchdown ahead of the break.

Michael Gallup was the recipient of that score in the final seconds of the half, and after an Alec Pierce touchdown cut the Cowboys' lead to 21-19, Gallup snagged his second of the game for some breathing room.

Things would go from bad-to-worse from there for the Colts as their next four drives resulted in turnovers.

Hooker added a fumble recovery and defensive touchdown to his big day, and the next two drives would both end in interceptions by fifth-round rookie DaRon Bland, icing the game and setting up some garbage-time stat-padding.

Dak Prescott completed 20 of his 30 passes for 170 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, while Pollard rushed 12 times for 91 yards and two scores, and Ezekiel Elliott added 17 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown of his own.